Come into life.

Live.

Die.

That was the way life was supposed to be, a clock set into motion. Tick tock, it would go, counting down the days until the device would be devoid of energy, and vanish from the world. Birth. Life. Death.

But he didn't die. No, he would never die. Not since that day.

It had been too late for him. One second, one hour, one day, he would never know. He had always, always, managed to pull through, even by the skin of his teeth, the hair on his head. But not then. Now this was what he was, the scar marking the happiness he had not deserved.

A zombie.

They had managed to stop Phantom, and he had finally ended it, once and for all, but with that little pause, the slightest hesitation, everything went downhill. An inch away from the little keyhole, and he had froze, pain writhing in his insides. He should have ignored it, but no, he stopped, his other hand clutching the shirt over his chest in agony. The searing heat that spread from his heart to his face, wrapping around his fingers in invisible scorches. He could only faintly remember the look on the face of the Knight, shock mixing in the defeat there already was, along with pity and worry. In a last minute attempt to save himself from one more regret, he had grabbed Purific Ave, forcing the ARM into his chest to end the wrath of the tattoo, finalizing his life, in hopes of saving another.

Not that it had helped.

Lucky, he thought now, to die into the peace. And leave me there to suffer.

He had tugged and tugged, unable to remove the ARM from Phantom's chest to plunge into his own, newly formed keyhole. Purific Ave was very rare; the only one of its kind. And there it had been, permanently lodged, an invisible, uncrossable distance between him and the only thing that could end the torture that was sure to come. Even when the others had come rushing in, to tell him the news of their victories, he could only stare blankly, feeling the effects of the tattoo subside into a natural prescence once again. A natural, chilling aura gripping his heart in a forbidding embrace.

If only he had not hesitated. Then Phantom could've saved him.

If only he hadn't. Then he wouldn't be alone now.

Everyone had celebrated, that day. Looks of happiness etched on their, once familiar, faces, as they had partied through the night. He could barely remember it now (how many years had it been?): a pair of muscular arms slung drunkenly over his shoulders, as it would a son; a flittering prescence nuzzling his cheek in relief and care; countless smiles directed at him at the power he had gained, at the success he had achieved...

Success, my ass.

He had run from it all, the day after, no goodbye, no words of parting. Why should he have? He was not like them anymore.

A zombie, he repeated. Not a human.


A/N: For those of you who didn't notice, I deleted this a few weeks ago, mainly because I didn't like the way it was being developed. So, since I liked writing oneshots more, I 've decided to just make this a oneshot series. Lovely.

This is, in any case, the same as the original, with maybe a few grammar edits.